Jun 1, 2022 - News

Bill would allow for armed teachers in Ohio schools

Illustration of the Ohio State Capitol with lines radiating from it.

Illustration: Allie Carl/Axios

Ohio lawmakers are poised to allow armed teachers and loosen state requirements for handling guns in schools.

Why it matters: House Bill 99 is under deliberation at the Ohio Statehouse just a week after a mass shooting in Uvalde, Texas, left 19 students and two teachers dead.

State of play: Under current state law, school resource officers must complete over 700 hours of basic peace officer training to carry weapons in schools.

  • HB 99, introduced and promoted by Republican lawmakers, would instead require school staff to undergo up to 24 hours of training.
  • Armed teachers and other willing school personnel would then complete up to eight hours of continuing education each year.
  • School boards would need to authorize and pay for this training, then publicly notify parents of having done so.

Driving the news: The Ohio House of Representatives passed this bill last year in a near-party line vote.

  • A Senate committee OK'd an amended version yesterday after hearing dozens of citizens testify against the bill. A vote in the full chamber could soon follow.
  • The Senate's version would invest $6 million toward creating a state "mobile training" program to assist school districts with firearm instruction.

What's next: Republicans in both legislative chambers will need to agree with these bill changes in order to send it to Gov. Mike DeWine's desk.

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